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University responds to faculty union demands
By University of The Bahamas, Office of University Relations
Nov 7, 2019 - 1:30:31 PM

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Nassau, THE BAHAMAS - The University of The Bahamas regrets the latest turn of events regarding the Union of Tertiary Educators of The Bahamas (UTEB).  The University has remained transparent in all discussions with executives of the union. It was agreed that since UTEB presented its financial counter proposal to the University after the Board of Trustees had approved the 2019-2020 budget, the union and the University would work together on arriving at a solution regarding financial compensation. The solution included paying each faculty member an immediate $1,000 lump sum and implementing increases ranging from two (2) to six (6) percent, while extending the top of the salary scales.  This is what was proposed by the President of UTEB.  The UTEB President also proposed a contract signing for November 10th, 2019. The University agreed.

Both sides also agreed that going forward with the next Industrial Agreement, all financial negotiations would be completed up front to allow for proper annual budgeting throughout the term of the new agreement; instead of waiting for the end of the contract negotiations to discuss finances, as has been the practice.

Prior to Thursday, October 31st, the University and the executives of UTEB had arrived at an agreement.  However, on Tuesday, November 5th, some union members led by the executives, staged a demonstration and provided the public with erroneous information.  On Wednesday, November 6th at 11:06 a.m. the President of UTEB issued a faculty-wide email reminding faculty that they were to abide by the following:

1.     Non participation in school meetings;

2.     Non participation in department meetings;

3.     Non participation in Academic Senate meetings; and,

4.     Non participation in Faculty Board meetings.

So far, several University events have been affected and the UB Act mandated “Academic Senate” meeting had to be postponed because faculty senators did not attend.

Further, on Wednesday, November 6th, 2019 at 3:07 p.m. the President of UTEB sent another email which noted:
“Please find our counter proposal to your 24 October, 2019 proposal:
Lump Sum for period July 2017 to June 2019 - $3,500.00
Salary Increase from July 2019 - 7%
I await your favourable response so we can sign off on the same by November 10, 2019.
Regards, Daniel Thompson, President, UTEB”

The University of The Bahamas can no longer conduct business in the manner in which it operated in the past.  There must be complete accountability at all levels and budgets must be strictly followed.  The University is not able to meet these new demands of the Union of Tertiary Educators of The Bahamas; particularly given the anticipated expenses associated with restoring University of The Bahamas-North campus in Grand Bahama which was severely damaged by Hurricane Dorian.  UTEB executives are fully aware of this. 

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